The Wolverine, the FOX/Marvel movie coming out this year starring Hugh Jackman is not really in my list of movies I’m expecting on this second half of the year. However, it’s quite obvious I’ll end up watching it, and this time, hopefully on the cinema and not on a Transatlantic flight. One fact I’ll need to admit, is that I’m a fervent X-Men fan. They’re probably the best superheroes, and they were created in such an unplanned way when in the 60s, Stan Lee and his staff got tired of coming out with super-human origins, and decided that humans were sometimes just born with special powers. Thus, mutants were created, and I’m pretty much sure they didn’t initially have this in mind, but by the time the Sentinels come up near issue 15, the X-Men had become icons of segregation simply for being different (If you don’t believe my fandom, you might want to check out my attempt to review every single issue of the X-Men out there).
Hands down, it’s pretty hard to contradict the fact that James Howlett AKA Logan AKA Wolverine, is the coolest of the X-Men, and probably the coolest superhero this side of Batman (to whom he is clearly homologous in the Marvel canon). He made his debut on a Hulk issue from 1974, and later, he joined the X-Men’s second attempt at comics in 1975. It was under Chris Claremont scripts that the character really got shaped up. It is, in fact, on a 4 comic book storyline released in 1982, upon which the upcoming movie is greatly based.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I came across a digital copy of this 4-issue series, and decided to give it a try, just to have something to compare it to once the movie comes out. At the start of the series, we meet Logan’s sweetheart Mariko, unexpectedly going to Japan, and we meet Logan following her. It turns out, Mariko’s father has come back from the dead, and now wishes Mariko to marry some mobster, in order to atone some previous crime he has done. Wolverine is obviously pissed off (how strange of him :o), and battles the old man in a samurai combat, and unexpectedly loses. Mariko sees Logan is not worthy of her.
In the next two issues, we meet Logan recovering with his superhuman abilities. His pride however, doesn’t heal that fast, and we quickly find Logan hooked up with another woman, an assasin by the name of Yukio, who is never really clear whether she’s conning him or not. The confusion is obviously intentional and gives certain depth to the relationship. However, it’s obvious that Logan really cares about Mariko, and it’s on the final issue, where we meet Logan, in a Meet the Parents stunt, confronting again his father-in-law.
I’ve read better comic books, but if you do come across this series, and you enjoy action comics, you might as well give it a look. Especially if you’re keen on watching the movie. Don’t worry, I’m sure the screenwriters had a lot to add to the movie adaptation, since I finished the comic books without having an idea of who The Silver Samurai or Viper are. Ok, I do remember the Samurai from the 90s TV series.
Anyways, apart from Hugh Jackman, I don’t really expect much from the movie adaptation. Judging by the first one (which I barely even remember, since my mind has likely made a good attempt to obliterate it), and by the trailers shown, the movie will likely be an over the top mess. Still, it will probably be a box office success, and at least I’m happy that it will create expectations for the upcoming X-Men film tying the original movies’ storyline with the latest X-Men: First Class, by the adaptation of the excellent storyline Days of Future Past. We’ll see, there’s nothing better than getting surprised.